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Man acquitted in 4-fatality crash arrested again for DWI

SANTA FE — A Santa Fe man acquitted of vehicular homicide charges in a crash that killed four teenagers on Old Las Vegas Highway in 2009 — although he acknowledged he was driving drunk — has been arrested again for DWI and on other charges, according to a police report.

Scott Owens is charged with one count each of DWI, stalking, having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, drug and drug paraphernalia possession, no drivers license and no proof of insurance. He was found parked on Villeros Street near Melendez Street on the north end of Santa Fe just after midnight Thursday.

Scott Owens

OWENS: Found with drugs, drug paraphernalia

A responding officer greeted Owens after Owens opened his car door by saying, “How’s it going, Scott?”

In 2011, Owens was acquitted in a trial over the deaths of four teenagers — Julian Martinez, Kate Klein and Alysson Trouw, all 16, and Rose Simmons, 15 — in a crash on Old Las Vegas Highway east of town. The defense argued that it could not be proved that he caused the collision, even though he admitted he was drunk, and raised questions about whether the teens were part of a car caravan traveling erratically on the road before the crash.

Owens was arrested again in 2012, for DWI, pleaded guilty and was placed on probation. The vehicular homicide case didn’t count as a prior DWI against Owens for purposes of sentencing then, because the vehicular homicide acquittal got him off on all charges in the 2009 case. He did spend about 22 months in jail, waiting for his 2011 trial.

In the new case, according to a statement of probable cause from the Santa Fe Police Department, Owens’ ex-girlfriend called 911 and said that Owens was parked outside her house and that she told him to leave by telephone. She said he left, seemed drunk and might still be in the area.

Police say they had received a report about 45 minutes earlier from the same woman who said Owens had texted her and said he was outside her workplace at Santa Fe Bar and Grill.

She messaged him back and told him to leave because of past incidents between the two. She told officers that she asked her current boyfriend and some coworkers to accompany her to her residence. When she got home, the report says, Owens’ car was at a nearby street corner.

The responding officer who found Owens parked nearby reported that Owens fumbled with his keys as he tried to start the ignition after the officer knocked on the car window. The officer says Owens’ speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot, and he refused to answer questions about how much he had had to drink. Owens admitted he was there to speak with the woman. He also said “I was parked and not moving” several times.

The police report says that Owens failed two field sobriety tests, refused more, and officers arrested him for suspicion of DWI. Officers noticed two empty miniature vodka bottles in the car, and a glass pipe with burnt residue. A glass container with marijuana was located in his front pocket.

Owens was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center to have his blood drawn since he had refused a breath test. The results of the test to determine blood-alcohol content are pending.

The woman who called police told officers that she has had problems with Owens stalking her in the past and described a violent confrontation a month ago that ended with Owens knocking on her door for about two hours. She said she was afraid to call police because of Owens’ prior run-ins with the law, the report says.